Huge satellite could outshine all stars and planets in the night sky

Astronomers are concerned that the BlueWalker 3 satellite, which will use an antenna the size of a squash court to beam internet to mobile phones, could outshine everything in the night sky except for the moon

Space 9 September 2022

satellite beaming signals to Earth

Illustration of the BlueWalker satellite

Nokia/AST Space Mobile

A large satellite launching to space tomorrow could become brighter than any other object in the night sky except the moon, raising concerns about its impact on astronomy.

The BlueWalker 3 satellite, built by Texas-based firm AST SpaceMobile, is set to be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 10 September. The satellite is designed to test the company’s technology to beam a cellular connection, including 4G or 5G internet, directly from a satellite to mobile phones, enabling users to receive mobile coverage in remote …

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